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Want to know the secret to retaining staff?

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So, you’ve found the ideal people to work for your company, provided ongoing training, awarded pay increases and bonuses, improved your benefits…yet still they keep moving on. Sound all too familiar? You’re not alone. With unemployment is at a record low, many employers across the UK are trying harder than ever to hold on to valuable expertise within their company.

It’s not about the money

Every two months we hold a peer group discussion with a variety of Basingstoke employers, and our most recent session was on the topic of retaining staff. In a quick poll, we asked people in the room what had kept them at their company for a long period of time.  No one said money, instead citing a number of other motivators as the reason behind their commitment and length of service…

  • Comradeship – a sense of camaraderie and friendship with fellow workers
  • Love for what they do – genuine enjoyment of the tasks they face each day
  • Flexibility in working hours – work fits around family, study and other commitments
  • Making a difference – going home with a sense that they’ve made an impact
  • Autonomy – being trusted to work freely under their own influence
  • Feeling needed – a recognised role in the team that’s valued and appreciated
  • The environment – a comfortable space with the right vibe for the job

If you’re finding it hard to retain staff, spend some time thinking about how you can cultivate non-financial motivators in your business. How could you introduce flexible working? It could be as simple as an optional shorter lunch break in exchange for an earlier finish time. Could management styles be modified to allow greater autonomy? Which activities or work styles could be used strengthen the team dynamic?

Think outside the office cubicle

Work environment is often one of the easiest aspects to address and can have a noticeable impact on staff retention. We all spend a long time at work, potentially more time with our work colleagues than with our friends and family. Therefore, it’s very important that we feel comfortable in that environment.

When visiting clients, our recruitment consultants see a plethora of different office layouts, break-out rooms, ping pong tables, bean bags, you name it. Gone are the days of rows and rows of desks with people sitting upright, almost as if in a Victorian classroom.  Instead, employers are starting to treat people like, well, people – and the result is often increased productivity and less time and money lost to employee absence though stress.

Stress can be created by several factors; not just the work that’s expected of people – it can be small things like an early start combined with a long commute, lack of privacy in the workspace – or conversely isolation. Think creatively about workspace and working hours – perks can have a positive effect on reducing stress.

Small changes, big impact

Other benefits you might wish to consider include giving staff an extra paid day off for their birthday, the ability to work from home when required, and – if it suits your business opening hours – the autonomy to get the work done in a time frame but not necessarily 9-5.

Establish a recruitment process that’s adaptable enough to allow people to move and change within your organisation.  If an employee is underperforming or just not happy, don’t cut your nose off to spite your face, consider moving them into another role or changing their working day or location.  Create an open forum where all ideas can be heard – and be sure to listen – you’ll benefit from a more loyal workforce in the long run.

Wote Street People is a recruitment agency in Basingstoke that can help you find the right people for your business – and keep them. If you’re looking to fill jobs in Basingstoke and the surrounding area give our friendly team a call.  Talk to us today to find out more on 01256 799127. 

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